Application of Theory within Leadership: Retaining Nurses through Orlando’s Model Chamberlain College of Nursing
NR501: Theoretical Basis of Advanced Nursing Practice
Application of Theory within Leadership: Retaining Nurses through Orlando’s Model “Theory-based nursing practice has demonstrated a capacity to structure professional care, unify and simplify communication, save time, clarify decision-making, and reduce nurse staff turnover saving thousands of dollars” (Alligood, 2011, p. 982). Although theory is present in my workplace, it is rarely discussed. This is a shame because it is apparent that theory is essential to the nursing profession and should be at the forefront. Nursing theory helps define and verify the existence of unique nursing knowledge (Seiloff & Raph, 2011). At the organizational level, theory can deliver a clear vision and provide unity among the ranks. Rapid turnover and failed nursing retention has been a problem in the past year at my facility. I feel that if leadership adopted a theory that promoted relationship-building and engaged staff in utilizing it in practice, it could positively impact the nursing environment in which we work. Orlando’s deliberative nursing process is a grand theory that can easily be adopted at leadership and practice level. I think it is important to utilize a grand theory when implementing at an organizational scale due to its abstractness and applicability to numerous situations. This theory is relationship-oriented and lends itself to transformational leadership. Literature supports transformational leadership as a means to improve nursing retention. Orlando’s theory and transformational leadership will be highlighted as a strategy to improve nurse retention. Desperate to Retain Nurses in the Face of Nursing Shortage
The nursing shortage is considered a global phenomenon that is projected to continue well into the future (Cowden, Cummings, & Profetto-McGrath, 2011). In 2001, United States nurse vacancy rates were at 13%; over the years, these rates have steadily climbed resulting in nurse turnovers as high as 21% (Cowden et al., 2011). In 2007, Canada reported a shortage of 11,000 nurses and projected that by 2022, the nursing shortage will increase to 60,000 (Cowden et al., 2011). Contributing factors to the shortage include aging nurse workforce, low job satisfaction, and nursing turnover. Cowden et al. (2011) report that nurses are abandoning the career field due to undesirable working conditions and lack of autonomy. These issues must be addressed in order to reduce the impact of the nursing shortage and retain qualified nurses in their positions. Effective leadership practices and nursing theory is the key to nursing retention. It is important to understand that the terms ‘leadership’ and ‘management’ are quite different. Curtis, de Vries, and Sheerin (2011) identify distinctions between managers and leaders: managers administer, maintain, control, initiate, ask how and when, and have a short-term view; leaders innovate, develop, inspire, originate, ask what and why, and have a long-term view. Although management skills are certainly significant and necessary, leadership practices have been identified by Cowden et al. (2011) as impactful to nursing retention. There are a number of different leadership styles. Cowden et al. (2011) group these styles into two categories: those that focus on tasks and those that focus on the individual and relationships between individuals. Task-focused leadership styles are laissez faire, transactional, dissonant, and instrumental (Cowden et al., 2011). Relationally-focused leadership styles are transformational, individual consideration, and resonant leadership (Cowden et al., 2011). In a systemic review, Cowden et al. (2011) found that relational leadership such as transformational leadership greatly influenced nurses’ intent to stay, whereas task-focused...
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Cowden, T., Cummings, G., & Profetto-McGrath, J. (2011). Leadership practices and staff nurses’ intent to stay: a systematic review. Journal of Nursing Management, 19, 461-477.
Curtis, E. A., de Vries, J., & Sheerin, F. (2011). Developing leadership in nursing: exploring core factors. British Journal of Nursing, 20(5), 306-309.
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